How to Document Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a growing and unfortunate problem. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse, it is imperative that you report your suspicions to authorities both inside and outside of the nursing home facility. It’s also important to document the abuse and neglect to support your claim. Below are some tips on how to record nursing home mistreatment.
Keep a Detailed Log
Start keeping a detailed log of any mistreatment, abuse or neglect. Signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Loss of possessions
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns and bone fractures
- Bed sores or other signs of skin deterioration
- Staff refusing visitors or not allowing visitors to spend time alone with the resident
- Signs of malnutrition
- Sudden changes in the resident’s will or their financial statements
- Residents forced to lie in their own waste
Be specific when describing the abuse or neglect. Make a note of where and when the incident took place as well as any other pertinent details about the emotional or physical harm the resident endured. Make sure that you keep your journal in a safe place outside of the facility to prevent it from being lost or destroyed.
Get All the Facts
Gather facts from other family members to determine exactly what kind of abuse the resident has endured. In some cases, residents are not of sound mind or unable to articulate what is happening to them.
Gather Witness Contact Information
Did any other visitors, staff members or residents witness the abuse? If so, gather their contact information and a summary of what they saw.
Take Photos or Video of the Mistreatment
Always take photos or video of the abuse. Visual documentation should be recorded for scratches, wounds, bruising and any other suspicious markings. Make sure that each every photo you take or video you record includes a time and date stamp. Some families have gone as far as installing cameras in the rooms to document incidents as they happen.
Document Complaints Made to Officials
Make note of any complaints made to official sources, and the number of times complaints were made. If possible, include a copy of any written complaints made.
Gather Related Medical Records
If the resident obtained medical treatment following the abuse or mistreatment, make sure that you obtain the resident’s medical records. This will help support your claim and serve as proof of abuse or mistreatment.
Working with an experienced attorney who knows how to address the details in your claim can make a huge difference. Contact Waitz & Downer today if you’d like a consultation on your case.